Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Abuse

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

Nursing home abuse is a dark reality that is difficult to face. We place a huge amount of trust in the institutions that provide care for our elderly loved ones. It can be devastating to consider that this trust gets continually broken behind the scenes. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found, there are over a million Americans living in nursing homes all over the United Sates. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their conditions, the residents in these institutions are particularly vulnerable to injustices that are rampant behind closed doors. One of the ways the government helps the nursing home residents is through the implementation of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, which you can read in full from the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. It sets certain rules and requirements that keep nursing homes accountable for the welfare of their residents. In particular, it also establishes that all these residents are entitled to the following basic rights:

  • The right to freedom from mistreatment, neglect, and abuse
  • The right to freedom from physical restraints
  • The right to privacy
  • The right to have medical, physical, psychological, and social needs appropriately accommodated
  • The right to participate in social activity, such as resident and family groups
  • The right to communicate freely
  • The right to exercise self-determination
  • The right to be treated with dignity
  • The right to participate in one’s care plan, which includes being fully informed of any changes in treatment and other health care directives
  • The right to voice grievances without discrimination or fear of being reprised

Despite such policies having been implemented in the last few decades, the cases of nursing home abuse continue to take place away from the public eye. Unfortunately, cases of intimidation, malnutrition, use of force, neglect, misuse of medication, and sexual abuse remain rampant. Data gathered by the National Center on Elder Abuse points out that nearly 1 out 10 have been cited for violations that lead to cases of harm and serious injury. This doesn’t include incidents that have remained unreported.   The policies and regulations imposed by the government can only do so much to prevent nursing home abuse. Significant change can only take place if the culture of silence and violence is eradicated. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must be held accountable for physical, emotional, and psychological trauma caused to victimized residents.

Possible Claims in a Benicar Lawsuit

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

The first  lawsuit was filed in February 2014 by a Texas resident alleging serious injury as a result of taking the drug, but many more are likely to follow. There are several claims that potential plaintiffs can make with the help of a qualified Benicar lawyer.

Benicar was aggressively marketed by Sankyo and Forest Labs as a safe and efficacious alternative for patients with intolerance for other classes of antihypertensive drugs including angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. They called Benicar the “ARB with superior efficacy.”

This earned the co-promoters a slap on the wrist by the FDA in 2006 for making false and misleading statements because the studies did not substantiate their claims. The drug was also reviewed in 2010 to determine if there was increased risk of cardiac problems or cancer, but found no evidence to suggest that there was. Despite all this attention, Sanyo and Forest Labs racked up more than $2 billion in sales in 2012 from Benicar alone, representing millions of prescriptions, and because the medication is for the management of hypertension, it is likely that most of these prescriptions were ongoing.

The problem with Benicar emerged 10 years after it had been circulating in the US market. It turns out that patients on Benicar who exhibited symptoms of Celiac disease but were serologically negative for the disorder were actually suffering from a condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. It caused chronic diarrhea and malnutrition that increased in severity over time until the damage becomes permanent and irreversible. The link between the mysterious condition and Benicar was finally established when the symptoms stopped when Benicar use was discontinued.

The first Benicar lawsuit alleges that Sankyo and Forest Labs failed to conduct adequate clinical testing of the drug prior to being sold on the market. It further claimed that they knew or should have known that use of Benicar of more than one year increased the risks of serious and permanent side effects such as sprue-like enteropathy, and failed to warn the public about these risks.

Treating TBI through Tongue Stimulation

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

The human tongue may play yet another very important role besides enabling man to speak with clarity and taste food, that is, reversing the incapacitating effects of traumatic brain injury or TBI. This therapeutic role of the tongue was discovered by scientists at the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory in the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It involves a treatment process that is expected to greatly improve the condition of people suffering from different types of brain injuries.

The human tongue has sensory receptors that are attached to the nervous system; some even go straight to the brain. By stimulating these sensory receptors through the use of the Portable NeuroModulation Stimulator, or PoNS, brain functioning is found to have gotten better.

PoNS is a battery-powered electronic device intended to treat traumatic brain injuries which cause prolonged impairments to a person’s balance, coordination and memory. It was actually used to treat over 250,000 US soldiers between 2000 and 2012.

Responses to the Deferred Action Program

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

Under the Obama Administration, the Deferred Action program was issued in June of 2012 with the intention of providing more legal flexibility and protection over illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. The program is designed to defer removal action against people if they do not pose a threat to national security. The program covers accepted candidates for two years and is subject to renewal. Though renewing deferred action is possible, no one is guaranteed continued coverage.

According to multiple Latino news outlets, from August of 2012 to June of 2013 about 400,500 out of 538,000 deferred action applicants were accepted for coverage. After being accepted to the deferred action program the candidate is able to obtain legal documentation for employment. Despite majority of cases that are accepted, the Brookings Institute projects that nearly twice the amount of people that apply for coverage are eligible. Factors like the $465 application fee, lack of proof of documentation, and misinformation about the program keep people from applying and receiving coverage. In order to apply, the candidate must provide documentation from their previous country and often times, locating and obtaining that documentation can be nearly impossible.

Deferred Action was created in order to offer an alternative to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act since its legislation was stalled in Congress. According to the website of the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, unlike the DREAM Act, deferred action does not lead to citizenship; it is merely a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation. Since they are one of the fastest growing and most culturally influential groups in the United States, Latinos view deferred action as a temporary solution.

What’s an M7 Coprecessor?

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

With the release of their newest phone, the iPhone 5S, Apple introduces the installment of the M7 motion-sensing coprocessor. The M7 will be able to detect and read motion constantly while managing to preserve and extend the phone’s battery life. Motion-sensing technology in previous models of the iPhone worked under the phone’s main processor, which (when opened) would interfere with other applications, resulting in battery drainage. The M7 is unique in that it works separately from the main processor.

In addition to providing greater energy efficiency, the M7 is an important step in further developing technology that is recognized and controlled by gesture. This means that products will be even more intuitive and user-friendly while saving energy. Currently, motion-sensing technology is used by fitness apps like Nike Fit and Argus, but in the future motion-sensing technology could expand to track average heart-rate and stress-levels. This knowledge could be a powerful tool in monitoring overall well-being. Other phones like the Motorola Moto X allow users to operate the phone with some gesture and motion-based cues. Though this technology is in the developing phases, it could be advantageous in a more hands-free and user-friendly phone experience for people of all ages.

Will there be More Benefit than Harm in Legalizing Recreational Marijuana?

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the primary anti-drug law in the United States, rules out the possession and use of marijuana all across the nation despite its legal use for medicinal purposes in 20 states. Strict implementation of the Act, however, may very well be on the road to change – at least that is the message other states are getting after Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use; a move that the Obama administration seems to tolerate.

Rather than blocking the two states’ move, the US Justice Department released to all federal prosecutors a four-page memorandum that outlines eight main concerns for marijuana enforcement, so that, unless a case would fall in any one of these eight areas, prosecutors should not waste any effort in prosecuting the case.

A number of these areas include trafficking across state lines, marijuana revenue going to other criminal enterprises, distribution to minors and growing of marijuana on public land. With these defined areas, a sort of a breathing space is given to users, growers and related businesses which, in the past, have feared prosecution. The Justice Department, however, expects Colorado and Washington to implement regulatory systems that will protect against any of the eight areas; otherwise, these states might as well give up the idea of the drug’s legalization for recreational use.

Preventing and Fighting Nursing Home Abuse

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

It can be difficult for family members to care for elderly relatives, particularly when those relatives require constant medical attention and supervision. In such cases, many people choose to employ the services of a nursing home which advertises effective medical care and an enjoyable living environment for its residents. However, nursing home residents nationwide continue to receive less-than-ideal care or even suffer abuse from employees, leaving many family members wondering what to do.

According to attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, nursing home abuse often results from a home’s failure to hire qualified professionals and to provide enough staff to care adequately for the residents. A recent study of nursing homes from the Florida-based advocacy group Families for Better Care, which graded states on the average level of nursing home care, found that a vast majority of states failed to meet adequate care standards. Additionally, the report noted varying levels of physical and sexual abuse in nursing homes across the country, which can lead to injuries including malnutrition and broken bones according to the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C.

In order to protect loved ones from abuse, families across the country have considered installing hidden cameras in nursing homes to monitor resident-caregiver interactions. Already the cameras have seen success in South Carolina and Oklahoma, where families caught residents beating and neglecting elderly residents. Some states, including Texas, New Mexico, and Maryland, already have legislation that expands the use of hidden cameras. Georgia Anetzberger, president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, said she expects more states to follow suit.

“There’s a comfort level with cameras that can catch actions that are disturbing and unlawful,” Anetzberger said. “Without these cameras, it probably wouldn’t be possible to get these kind of outcomes.”

Avoiding a Truck’s No-Zone

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

While all automobile accidents have the potential to cause injury, truck accidents are especially dangerous for anyone riding in a passenger vehicle. Large trucks weigh much more than most vehicles on the road, and so can cause devastating injuries when they are involved in a crash. Trucks pose substantial safety concerns for drivers on the road with them.

Unfortunately, some truck accidents are completely unavoidable, especially if one party involved has been drinking or using illegal drugs that lower awareness and driving ability. However, certain types of truck accidents, particularly no-zone accidents, can be prevented if drivers take the proper precautions around trucks.

Trucks have four major blind spots, called “no-zones,” according to the car accident lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®. These blind spots, located directly in front of and behind the truck, on the driver’s side near the window, and near the back of the truck on the passenger’s side, can cause accidents if the truck driver isn’t paying attention to vehicles in those areas. To prevent no-zone accidents, always remember if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors they probably can’t see you. Be wary if you have to cross through a no-zone, and do it as quickly as possible while still driving safely. Finally, don’t tailgate a truck closely, because the driver may not be able to see you, and the truck will obscure your vision of the road ahead.

It’s important to always beware of no-zones when you approach a truck. Driving in a safe manner around trucks makes the road safer for passenger vehicles and truck drivers alike, and cuts down on tragic accidents.

Recovering from a Medical Error

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

As a patient, you are required to place your trust in doctors to receive effective medical care. However, no medical professional is perfect. Unfortunately, thousands of medical errors ranging from misdiagnosis to wrong site surgery occur each year in the United States. If you are the victim of a medical error, you could develop a new complication, or your current condition could become more serious.

Some medical errors are impossible for patients to prevent, but others can be avoided if the patient is careful and vigilant. In particular, patients can play a role in preventing medication errors, which occur when hospital or pharmaceutical staff prescribe medication incorrectly. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, the most common medication errors arise when medical professionals mistake drugs with similar names, give drugs to the wrong patient, or give an incorrect dose of medication. Occasionally, medical professionals also fail to note an allergen that may be present in a drug and administer it to a patient who could have a reaction.

Fortunately, patients have some ability to prevent medication error. Being organized is the most effective method of prevention. Keep a detailed list of every medication you are currently taking that you can show to a medical professional–this can prevent the unfortunate situation in which two prescribed drugs react badly to one another and cause adverse symptoms. Repeatedly inform your doctor and other care providers about any allergies you have to avoid being prescribed a medicine you are allergic to. Consider asking your pharmacist about the directions on your medications, and make sure you know exactly how to administer the medication (correct dosage, time of day, frequency, etc.).

If you have any questions whatsoever about a medication or medical procedure, ask your doctor. If a procedure sounds dangerous or risky, wait to hear a second or third opinion from other medical professionals before undergoing it. Medical malpractice is a tragic event, and as a patient, you should take every precaution you can to avoid being victimized by it.

Steps to Take before Putting Your Home on the Market

By on 8-10-2013 in Real Estate, Selling a Home

Selling your home can be a frustrating experience, especially if it continues to sit on the market for weeks or months at a time. Many sellers wonder why their home is putting off potential buyers. Often, the answer is that the home is excessively cluttered, worse-for-wear, and sloppily presented for sale.

Staging a home, the act of sprucing up the exterior and interior of a house before placing it on the market, has a successful track record. Not only does staging help get your home sold, it also can substantially increase the sale price. Buyers like to envision themselves in a home that has plenty of storage space and new fixtures; as a result, spending some money to stage your home before putting it on the market offers a huge return on investment.

There are a number of different ways to make your home more presentable. Here are a few excellent methods to improve the appeal of a property.

  • Declutter – Removing furniture from a home is one of the most effective ways to make a home appear larger. A cluttered home makes potential buyers feel uncomfortable, and as a result, they are less likely to consider buying your home.
  • Repaint – Applying a fresh coat of paint to a room or wall can spice up the interior of a home and greatly increase its curb appeal. Neutral colors, from tans to soft blues and greens, make living areas brighter and relaxing. Bright, garish walls can actually reduce the value of your home, so replacing them with neutral paint is a cheap and easy solution.
  • Clean – Hiring a professional cleaning service can do wonders for your home’s appeal. In particular, cleaning surfaces that see a lot of use, like hardwood floors and counter tops, can revitalize a kitchen or living room. In fact, professional cleaning services offer one of the highest return on investment ratios of any staging technique. Additionally, it is a good idea to make sure that visible exteriors should be cleaned as well, like entry-ways, patios, and garage doors.

Professionals list poor home staging as the number one mistake sellers can make when putting their properties on the market. This Pinterest outlines a few small changes that can make the entire selling process easier and much more rewarding.